56 Group Wales:The Founders

John Wright (1931 - 2013)


Trevor Bates

John Wright was born on 26 May 1931 in London. At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 he was evacuated to Carmarthen, where he continued his formal education before enrolling at Carmarthen College of Art. In 1955 Wright taught painting at Hereford School of Art and in the following year he became the youngest founder member of the 56 Group. He travelled across Britain, Europe and the USA, promoting contemporary Welsh Art.

In 1959 John Wright was appointed a lecturer at Newport College of Art and, working his way up in just six years, became, at the age of thirty four, one of the youngest ever Principals of an art school in Britain.

The artistic style of John Wright alternates from figurative to non-figurative depending on subject matter rather than on a progressive move towards abstraction, and on occasions he combines styles.

Following his early retirement in 1989, John and his wife Elizabeth Wright moved to Spain, eventually settling in Estepona, Malaga, where he continued to paint and to teach others at the art centre which he has set up close to his home.

He died on the 9th July 2013.

The works of John Wright can be found in the following collections:-

Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales, Cardiff; Bradford Art Gallery; British Broadcasting Corporation; Cambridge University; Cardiff University; Contemporary Art Society; Contemporary Art Society for Wales; Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea; Knox Foundation, Boston, USA; Oxford University; Reading University; other public and private collections.